Pope Benedict XVI has declared a Year of Faith to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, which ran from 1962 to 1965, and calls on Catholics to renew their faith and the celebration of it. “The logo that has been chosen for the Year of Faith is a boat, symbolizing the Church, [and] is represented as sailing on a graphically minimal representation of waves. The main mast of the boat is a cross from which sails are displayed in the form of dynamic signs which compose the trigram of Christ (IHS). The background to the sails is a sun which, associated with the trigram, refers also to the Eucharist” (Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization).
Jesus often reminded his followers that they also needed to be accompanied and empowered on their own journeys of faith. Jesus sent his first followers to people everywhere, proclaiming the Good News and with His promise, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, along with Christians throughout the world, we again begin our Lenten journey. Catholics and those of other faith denominations will be marked with ashes signifying this journey, an outward sign of our need for conversion, for renewal and to do penance. Vatican II challenged us that the best way to share the Gospel is by our actions. Our example inspires those who share our faith and opens the hearts and minds of those who don’t – “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Each of our “faith-boats” may get tossed around a bit from time to time, but as we celebrate this Year of Faith and begin the season of Lent, let us remember that Jesus is the main mast of our faith-journey and will keep us on course. Let our daily “Amen” be our expression of our faith. May this Year of Faith and the season of Lent be a time of blessing for each of us.
Br. Vincent Delorenzo, OFM
Provincial Council member and Director of the Franciscan Mission Office
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